Note: I decided to post my update here since it will give me a little more control over formatting. 

To start the update, we have some pretty exciting news – we are moving! After approximately five years in Phoenix, we are relocating (for work) back to Bloomington/Normal, Illinois. We are still figuring out the details of the move, but we expect to be moved no later than mid-August – the sooner the better as far as I am concerned. Phoenix is NOT a fun place in July/August! For the most part we have enjoyed our time in Arizona. We encountered lizards, road runners, and thankfully only two scorpions! Outside of the frantic clean-the-house-so-someone-might-buy-it tasks, we are planning a trip to Disneyland in early May to say goodbye to our favorite West Coast vacation spot. Although not quite “This Old House” territory, we have embarked on quite a few DIY home projects in the past year. We updated our bathrooms (IKEA for the win!) , installed a new dishwasher (so much quieter), and refurbished our water softener (messy but worth every penny). 

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Individual Updates

Alex

Alex is currently enrolled in submarine school in Groton, CT. Unfortunately I don’t have much in the ways of updates since most of what he is doing is [CLASSIFIED], but he is enjoying his time there. He has been making friends with his shipmates, playing Dungeons & Dragons, and enjoying the stark weather contrast (he has SNOW!). Thankfully Alex was able to come home for a couple of weeks around Christmas, it was great getting to see him!

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Gabe

Gabriel is finishing up Kindergarten. He has been working on reading, addition, subtraction, and soon – spelling! He is giving me a run for the money in terms of enjoying Sci-Fi movies, we have now watched all the Star Wars movies and all of the age appropriate Marvel/DC superhero movies. We are still working with him regarding the move. Initially he seemed quite excited to move, but the other day he asked me “Now Dad, I get to bring all my friends with me to Illinois, right?” He was NOT a fan of the answer we had to give. He has been taking swimming lessons for most of the year and is turning into quite the dolphin! (You may see Teresa’s Facebook/Instagram weekly photos – each picture taken at the swimming facility earns him a free cookie… so he insists on posing)

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Teresa

Teresa started a new job at State Farm last year as a Process Analyst, working on overall process improvements for a number of different departments. In addition she earned her CPCU insurance designation, which as far as I can tell, means she is now an Insurance Necromancer. At one point I opened one of her insurance textbooks and the lights got really dim and I heard chanting in Latin in the background, so… yeah, I expect Bruce Campbell from “The Evil Dead” to show up any day now. Other than putting up with Gabe and I, Teresa has started running and has completed five 5k races. WAHOO! 

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Will

In the past year I’ve been busy working as a Business Automation Analyst at State Farm. I help design, build, and maintain internal non-customer facing applications. (It is exactly as boring as it sounds!) At home I keep myself busy with a never-ending series of home automation projects (Alexa, Wink, HTPC automation, Tasker, etc) and sous vide cooking. I have been eyeing 3D-printing as my next distraction, so you may see random plastic gizmos show up in my facebook photos feed at some point later this year. 

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